Virgin Australia drops business class, jets from Albury flights

By John Walton, August 23 2012
Virgin Australia drops business class, jets from Albury flights

Virgin Australia has dropped business class flights from Albury to Sydney, replacing the two-class Embraer E-190 jets previously on the route with the all-economy Capital Connect style ATR-72 turboprop planes.

In addition to the lack of the big seats up front, the flight -- scheduled for an hour using the faster jets -- is stretched by fifteen minutes using an ATR, local paper The Border Mail reports.

The move frees up the E-190s -- which have new business class seats and the most spacious economy class seats in Virgin's fleet -- for other routes.

Check out what you'll find on board these Virgin Australia ATR flights in our on-the-plane review!

The Embraers are best suited to what airlines call "long and thin" routes: the ones with relatively few passengers looking to travel but a decent level of willingness to pay for direct flights rather than having to connect elsewhere, which tend to be strong business traveller destinations.

ATRs are also useful for business traveller routes, but generally on shorter flights where the slower but more efficient turboprops don't add a huge amount to the flight time, especially given the schedule padding at large airports like Sydney to account for wait times there.

Flying to Albury on Virgin's ATR? The best seats on the plane aren't where you'd usually expect to see them!

Get the latest updates for business traveller and frequent flyers: follow @AusBT on Twitter.

John Walton

Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.

20 Oct 2011

Total posts 77

Albury isn't really losing business class: it never had it. The E190s aren't yet reconfigured, and currently fares are only sold as "Saver" or "Flexi" on that (and most E190 routes). 

Losing jets, yes. 

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

23 May 2012

Total posts 268

Yusef, recently Virgin Australia has taken down the Premium Economy category on their booking system and giving the seats to Gold and Platinum Frequent Flyers. When the E190s are upgraded with the new Business class seats, the Business fare type will pop up again.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

31 Jan 2012

Total posts 107

Was this due to a runway re rating not allowing the e-jet to fly

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